Sofa-bed by
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Our first living room couch was really a sofa-bed –  we bought it thinking when it wasn’t being a living room couch it could double as a guest bed – and it did,  legions of our friends have slept on it over the years with no complaints.

And as I remember it was originally covered in a navy blue suede and was very well-made –  and understandably so as we got it at W & J Sloane’s,  at the time a successful New York furniture store.

Opened in 1843 in lower Manhattan by William Sloane, a Scottish weaver,  and his brother John,  the store became known for tapestries,  carpets and finely-crafted,  upscale furniture.

But we weren’t so upscale ourselves at the time and so we bought the sofa-bed on the installment plan,  agreeing to make monthly payments.

We made the first month’s,  but after that we never got another bill.  I guess somehow our account was lost!

I kept meaning to call Sloane’s to ‘fess up,  but it kept slipping my mind,  and by the mid 1980s the store had fallen on hard times and closed,  and so then it was too late to make amends.

And BTW as is my wont,  I’ve had that Sloane’s sofa-bed reupholstered more than once.  It’s now beige corduroy and has been relegated to the den.

But bless W & J Sloane’s,  that sofa-bed is still comfy after all these years,  and worth every penny we never paid!

Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Furniture
Characterizations: been there, funny


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    I once slept on that sofa-bed and can attest to its comfort, as well as your skills as a hostess. You and Danny put me at my ease on a very difficult evening. I continue to bless for that.

  2. Marian says:

    Having slept on a quality sofa bed in the months when I didn’t have a bed, I can attest that a good one is worth reupholstering, Dana. Love the photo.

  3. Susan Bennet says:

    It’s still got “it”, Dana, and it looks eminently lounge-able. I have never heard of a loss-of-account like yours. Truly a gift. I am sure W&J Sloane’s did not go out of business because of your sofa (!).

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    We also had a couch that was a sofa bed in the living room of our second apartment. My parents bought it for us so they didn’t have to stay in a hotel when they visited. It was not at all comfy and hard to dispose of down the road because it was so heavy. But it did the trick for them, and it was their dime.

  5. Suzy says:

    I love this story of a sofa-bed that is truly comfortable (they so rarely are!), and the loss of your account so that you never made more than the first month’s payment. It wasn’t your fault, but if that happened with multiple customers, it probably WAS the reason Sloane’s went out of business.

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